FREE SS 01
Debut album from the PD master Tim Blechmann (now living in Vienna).
Many programmers try to show off the possibilities of their programs,
instead Tim achieves the most focus and rigorous contemporary electronic music that I heard since Dion Workman.
November 24, 2008
Reviews from Touching Extremes, Bagatellen and Vital
From Touching Extremes (Massimo Ricci, Italy)
In keeping with the libertarian policies of about anything established by Basque artistic agitator Mattin, the Free Software Series make use of
the chance of producing music unyoked from the obligations of copyright, and I believe that an initial statement better than this fabulous offering by Tim Blechmann couldn't possibly have been made. "Re-reading", recorded in a
live performance in 2006, is a laptop composition that would not be out of place on a label like Antifrost, in that it's a masterful exercise in
restrained violence amidst gradual mutations. A slowly unfolding, cirriform piece based on granular crackle and ever-growing, sinisterly hissing whirrs which nevertheless leave the scenario they depict available for observation at
all times, reminiscent of the most impenetrable aspects of the work of pioneers such as John Duncan, but also early Daniel Menche and - why not -
Bernhard Günter: the last fifteen minutes contain sonic data of such a subtlety that it's difficult to perceive their essential functionality without the aid of headphones or a dead silent environment. Blechmann shows great maturity
in applying strictly rigorous rules to his sound, the outcome being a record that doesn't really appear as a real-time recording but bears the
characteristics of a painstakingly conceived studio track. The most perceptive among the listeners will certainly appreciate the
infinitesimal reiterative currents that characterize several of these icy passages,
underlining through their presence the ripening of frequencies that, in an ideal world, should delineate human evolution. Things that, inevitably,are reserved for few lucky ones.
From Bagatellen (USA, Brian Olewnick)
Blechmann, using PD software (a Linux program, if I’m not mistaken), generates a fine, tightly channeled performance. The initial sound layer
includes one that imitates a muted, metallic alarm buzzer which gradually bores its way into a wider terrain, surrounding itself with
fuzz and hums, the alarm splintering into disparate shards. The sounds
evolve but the impelling force remains constant, an onrushing of noise
that flows for about half the piece’s 40 minutes before dissolving into some luscious crackles with distant wind. The final fifteen or so
minutes are spent in more gossamer areas, all the sounds becoming transparent, insect-like, flitting and swarming about. It’s a straightforward set in a way, like a complex gray shade modulating from dark to light, but its object-like nature is absorbing on its own terms. Good, smart stuff.
From Vital (Holland)
One thing I do when I put on something that has a Mattin connection is check the volume of my speakers. Low? Right, let's play it. Mattin
curates here a 'free software series, for the promotion of works realized using free
software'. Vienna's Tim Bleckmann uses PD, which stands for Pure Data, and to the best of my knowledge, it's a kinda like a max/msp, but solely for the pc. His recording may be a live recording, but it's not that noise
related as I expected. A single forty something minute composition/improvisation that
I think is based on either processing the field recording of rain, or some internal crackling of the computer, which gets layered and layered,
until a dense mass of sound arrives. Slowly towards the end things are
thorn down and taken apart. It's a great work. I could imagine this being a bit long
for a concert, but for home entertainment this is a really nice work.
The role of free software in the contemporary struggle for freedom is essential as well as producing content and media with sharing as the primary goal. Using only free software to produce and compose experimental music is indeed a bold statement that has been embraced by this Berlin based label run by Mattin (author of "Proletarian of Noise"), yet detailing on the cover which kind of Linux distribution is used. The label is intended to unquestionably state and prove that free software is every bit as good as proprietary software for this kind of music. In this first release the results are speaking for themselves. Blechmann masterly uses PD (Pure Data) for a meticulous composition that is impressively executed live in around 45 minutes. A rainy amount of frequencies falls with a variable and slowly changing intensity, investing the listener progressively till a quite and relieving end. A small gem in the territory of media freedom.